Walter “Walt” Hirsch, a three-time men’s basketball national champion at the University of Kentucky, passed away Tuesday at the age of 92.
Hirsch (1948-51) was a multi-sport athlete, also participating in baseball, and played basketball under legendary head coach Adolph Rupp. Hirsch is the only player in Kentucky Wildcats basketball history to be a member of three national title squads.
A 6-foot-4 forward, Hirsch played in 13 games for the 1948 champions, scoring 37 total points. He averaged 4.6 points in 34 appearances for the 1949 title winners and then played in 30 games during the 1951 season, averaging 9.1 points per game. He was ineligible to compete in the NCAA Tournament that season as a four-year varsity player because of NCAA rules at that time.
Hirsch was an All-SEC Second Team pick in 1950 after averaging 9.9 points per game, the third-highest mark on the team.
For his career, Hirsch played in 107 career games and scored 764 points. Hirsch also competed in baseball as a first baseman for four seasons.
Following his collegiate career, Hirsch joined the Army during the Korean War. Upon completion of his service, Hirsch worked at the Rath Packing Company.
He is survived by his two daughters, Pam and Nancy, and a grandson, Colin. Walt was preceded in death by his wife, Vicki.
A public funeral service will be held Monday at 2 pm ET at Trinity Lutheran Church in Belmond, Iowa. A public visitation will be on Monday at the church from Noon to 2 pm ET. A burial with full military honors will be in the Belmond Cemetery. Andrews Funeral Home in Belmond, Iowa is handling all arrangements.
The funeral will be live-streamed on both the Andrews Funeral Home Facebook page and Trinity Lutheran Church Facebook page.
Rest in peace, champ!